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Examine the Different Functions Performed by the Family for Individuals

  • Date Submitted: 02/02/2014 12:36 PM
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Examine the different functions performed by the family for individuals and society

The family performs many different and important functions for society and individuals. In my essay, I will examine the views of Functionalism, Marxist, Feminism and the New Right; analysing the different functions performed by the family for individuals and society.
Functionalists believe that society is based on a value consensus which is a set of shared norms and values and this is how society socialises its members. Functionalists highlight the ideal family type as the nuclear family. This is the two-generation family of a man and woman and their dependent children, which could be their own or adopted. They believe that society is like a biological organism using the example of the human body; and like the organs of a human body, all the parts of society including family work together to make society run efficiently.   Functionalists disagree with single-parent families because single parents that do not work claim for benefits. Functionalists disagree with this idea because it does not provide stability for their children. They also disagree with same-sex marriages because it goes against the idea of the traditional structure of the nuclear family.   They believe that women should do the housework and taking care of the children and the husband should provide for the family; which includes going out to work to earn the wages to support the family. The functionalist ideas of same-sex couples are that neither of them can do what is traditionally expected of them.
Murdock argues that the family performs four essential functions to meet the needs of society and its members. A stable satisfaction of the sex drive is needed with the same partner. This prevents the social disruption caused by a sexual ‘free-for-all’. He states that reproduction of the next generation must go on otherwise society would not continue. Socialisation of the young is important as it supports society’s...


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